Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was six months pregnant when she was hired to lead the tech company -- clearly no pregnancy discrimination there! But how are average (read: non-famous, non-CEO) pregnant women faring on the job? Are they being discriminated against more or less than they have been in the past?
At first glance, it appears that things have actually remained about the same: The number of claims reported on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website for pregnancy-related discrimination has remained steady over the past few years, at about 6,000 per year, says Sandy Girifalco, an employment law attorney and a partner at law firm Stradley Ronen Attorneys at Law.
But that number might not tell the whole story, Girifalco continues. If you look beyond the short time frame, the broader picture raises a few questions. It's true that the number of cases per year hasn't changed much over the past few years, but it does represent a rise of about 1,000 claims per year over cases that were filed annually before 2008 to 2009. And that's a big jump.
Why did that surge happen -- and why have the numbers stayed high since? We asked a few experts for their insights.
As with any number or trend, there are many ways to interpret this one. On one side, there's the concern that this number has risen over the long term. This could be seen as evidence that things are bad or getting worse. On the other, we could read it as a sign that awareness of pregnancy rights in the workplace is on the rise. Either way, it remains a number worth watching for families now, and in the future.
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